Weekly Update
Announcements From Around the Virginia Synod
A Prayer For the U.S. Senate
October 22nd was not just another day in the U.S. Senate. This was the day that Rev. Kathryn "Katie" Pocalyko was invited by Senator Mark Warner to open the session in prayer.

The opening prayer (and the rest of the session) aired at 10:00 am on CSPAN2. If you missed it, the recording is available online

While Rear Admiral Barry C. Black (Ret.) is the elected chaplain of the U.S. Senate, guest chaplains are regularly invited by representatives to offer the opening prayer.

"I believe prayer orients the senators to the higher calling that they have," said Pastor Pocalyko. "That no matter what their individual beliefs may be, they are here to serve something that is greater than what they can see. For a Christian, the prayer orients us to God's call to service that Christ exemplified."  
When Rev. Pocalyko, pastor of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour in North Chesterfield, Va., was called up in front of the cameras, she walked with confidence and began speaking with a slight smile on her face.

"O God most mighty, O God most merciful, O God our strength and our song, You call these leaders to serve the public, promote justice, and establish peace in our land. We lift before You all who govern and serve our Nation through this body, its Senators, its staff, and its pages. Bless Members with collaboration in this Holy experiment. Give to those whom we entrust with authority the spirit of wisdom and understanding. Guide them with the spirit of counsel and insight. Grant them a spirit of knowledge. Grace them with Your presence. For You show us a vision of a tree whose leaves are for the healing of the Nations. May that tree take root here, bearing fruit in the hearts and work of these servants. We pray this through Your Holy Name. Amen."

The Lutheran influences on her prayer are subtle but may be evident to ordained rostered leaders.

"I did very much feel like a representative of the Lutheran Church and of the ELCA in being asked to do this," she said.

Many of her references come from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW), which you may recognize as the red book in the pews of your church.

"As I starting thinking about how I could paint a picture of what the Senate ultimately does, my mind went quickly to some words from Eucharistic Prayer 10 in the ELW which ends with the line, 'you show us a vision of a tree of life with fruits for all and leaves that heal the nations,' recalling Revelation 22, which was one of my ordination texts."

"I believe that part of God's mission and the Senate's mission is to heal thenations, so I meditated on what it would mean for that tree to be planted in the middle of the Senate floor, a space I'm familiar with from my Page days."

This wasn't the first time that Pastor Pocalyko had stepped into the chamber of the U.S. Senate. When she was a junior in high school she spent an entire semester living in Washington D.C. as a Page in the U.S. Senate. According to the U.S. Senate website, Page duties consist of preparing the chamber for Senate sessions and carrying bills and amendments to the desk. While every Page spends the early morning hours in an accredited school, their experience in the Senate gives them a view of politics and government that cannnot be found in a textbook.

Pocalyko's interest in politics began when her father ran for a position in the Virginia House of Delegates. Although he was not elected, the process caused a spark in his young daughter. After writing to one of her representatives when she was in the 8th grade and receiving a response that included information about the Page Program, Pocalyko decided to apply the summer before her junior year of high school.

As a Page she lived with teenagers from Maine to Alaska under the supervision of the Page Program staff. She was not only exposed to the senators, she was also able to meet Chaplain Barry C. Black.

"Being able to see a minister while I was also seeing these public servants, influenced my call to ministry," said Pastor Pocalyko. "His prayers helped me see that public service and God's work in the world are not disconnected."

After Rev. Pocalyko answered the call to become the pastor of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour this year, she was having a conversation with her parents when the idea of becoming a guest chaplain for the Senate came up.

After contacting the office of Senator Mark Warner to express her interest and find out more information, she was offered an invitation. After she prayed to open the session, Pastor Pocalyko, Yale Divinity School 2013, was even able to spend a few lighthearted moments with Senator Warner, Harvard Law School 1980, as they jested about the rivalry between their alma maters.
Pastor Pocalyko having a friendly conversation with Senator Warner after her opening prayer

 "The most meaningful part of this experience was coming back as the pastor God had started calling me to be through my time as a Page," she said. "The whole experience was humbling, an honor, a blessing, and also a completion, in a way."

When Pastor Pocalyko left the capitol, she came back to encouragement from her congregation and other friends from across the country.

"I received so many emails, texts, and Facebook notes that day and after. I felt very proud to be representing the people of Lutheran Church of Our Saviour."

Rev. Kathyrn Pocalyko, her congregation, as well as the words of her prayer will be preserved in the congressional records for the years to come. 

Advent Text Study by LTSS at Roanoke College-November 6
Friday, Nov. 6th, 2015
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
The Academy of Faith and Leadership of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary will host a live webcast Advent text study from Columbia, SC. The viewing of the webcast will be held at Roanoke College on Friday, Nov. 6th from 9:00 am-3:00pm. Four Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary professors will exegete the 2015 Advent lectionary texts from a missional leadership perspective.
Dr. Brent Driggers - Luke 21:25-36
Dr. James Thomas - Luke 3:1-6
Dr. Jann Boyd - Luke 3:7-18
Dr. Kevin Ogilvie - Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

Resource Development Conference Room,
2nd Floor of the Resource Development Office
Roanoke College 
221 College Alley
Salem, VA 24153
For Roanoke College: 
Paul Henrickson
For Registration:
Darcie Jones
(803) 461-3217
$35 (Lunch Included)
To register online, Click Here
go towww.eventbrite.com  and search for "Advent Text Study"

You Can Still Register for
Lost and Found 
Lost & Found: God has Found You
Lost & Found: God has Found You

Lost and Found is our annual weekend retreat for youth in 7th and 8th grade and their adult advisors. We have Large Group gatherings that consist of singing, energy, comedy, worship and a presentation on our event theme. After each Large Group gathering each person is part of a Small Group made up of about 8 youth and a couple adult leaders where participants will get to know other Lutheran youth from Virginia and discuss life, faith and other topics that arise throughout the weekend. 
Lost and Found runs from November 20-22, 2015, from 6:30pm Friday to noon Sunday at Eagle Eyrie.  
Cost for participants:  $160 Click Here To Find out More and Register!

Spaces for A February Mission Trip to Nicaragua
Spaces remain for Zion, Waynesboro's February mission trip to Nicaragua. The destination is Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua where mission team members will partner with the Centro Infantil Cristiano NicaragŁense (CICRIN), a refuge for at-risk and abandoned children and youth. Leaders Mark and Tami Radecke have led 16 such service-learning/mission trips to CICRIN since 1999. Dates, costs and other information are on Zion's website at http://zionofwaynesboro.org/nicaragua-mission-trip.html. Those interested can also contact Pr. Radecke at radecke@susqu.edu.

Hungry Mother Servant Summer Camp

Hungry Mother Lutheran Camp and Retreat Center has just announced the dates for their new Servant Summer Camp for 2016. Enjoy a week at the peaceful mountain facility while also volunteering with several organizations that serve the people of Southwest Virginia. 

Applications are now being accepted. Each group should consister of 5-7 youth per adult. If you will only be bringing one group, one adult male and one adult female will be required. Youth must be rising high school age and above. There will be three weeks of camp with 40 available spots for each week. The fee is $250 per person with some scholarship money available. 

Please click here for more information or email hmlrc@hungrymother.org to request an application.  

LARCUM Conference: Dec. 4-5
The 2015 Virginia LARCUM Conference (Lutheran, AnglicanRoman Catholic, United Methodist) will meet around the theme: "The Church, always reforming -
ecclesia semper reformanda." The Rev. Dr. Gerald Christianson is the event's main presenter, providing historical knowledge to properly
approach the upcoming observance of the 500th anniversary of the reformation. Register by Nov. 20 using form on synod website.
Click Here for the Registration Form

Go "On Safari" to Tanzania!
Godparents for Tanzania invites you to join a small group of fellow Lutherans for a Discovery Safari to Tanzania, May 17-June 1, 2016.  See the beauty of Kilimanjaro, the amazing Ngorongoro Crater, the vastness of the Serengeti and, of course, the wonderful animals of Africa!  At the same time, we will be learning from Godparents' students and staff what growing up in a developing country is like.  

For more information, visit our website (click on Safari at www.godparents4tz.org), and/or contact the trip leader, Pastor Dwayne Westermann, to learn more (dwestermann@godparents4tz.org), (540) 353-6341.   
Job Opportunities

All posts can also be found online at www.vasynod.org/job-opportunities. If you have job opening you would like posted, email fuller@vasynod.org. 
Job Opportunity:
Church Operations Manager in Norfolk, VA
The Church Operations Manager will serve First Lutheran Church Norfolk by ensuring support is provided to all Rostered Staff, administering the physical, finalcial and personnel resources of FLC and providing oversight of the operations and business of FLC. A full job description is available here. Those interested should send a cover letter and resume to staffing@flcnorfolk.com. Questions should be directed to the same email. 
Do You have an announcement, upcoming event or news story Idea? Send it to fuller@vasynod.org!
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